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ESTA Frequently Asked Questions
All travelers travelling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must ha a valid entry permit, ESTA, before travelling to the USA. The ESTA must be approved before boarding the airplane to USA. Currently, 38 countries are eligible to apply for ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program (list of eligible countries).
With a valid ESTA permit, you will be allowed to go to USA for business or holiday, and stay up to 90 days without the need to apply for a visa to USA.
What is ESTA?
ESTA is an electronic system for travel authorization, and is used to estimate if the traveler is eligible to go to USA under the Visa Waiver Program.
Who needs to apply for an ESTA?
All citizens of a Visa Waiver Program eligible country and who plan to go to USA by airplane or cruise ship, for temporary business or holiday, for up to 90 days, must have a valid ESTA before entering the USA. Also, an ESTA is required for everyone transiting through USA to a third country.
How to apply for an ESTA?
To apply for an ESTA, just choose your nationality in the top right corner of this website, and proceed with the application. You need to answer all questions in the application, and pay the fee before the application will be handled.
The application form is not difficult, but make sure you have enough time to read and understand every question before you answer. You will need your passport information when filling in the application form.
You can also apply and pay for other people, at the same time. Please note that if you apply for other people than yourself, they will still be responsible of providing correct information about the application. If you make a mistake, it might ruin their chances of going to USA.
After you have made your application, you will soon get an email with the decision of your application. You can also check the status of your application at any time through our website.
For how long is an ESTA valid?
The validity time of an ESTA is two years, or shorter if your passport will expire before two years has past. During this time, you can go to USA multiple times, but you can only stay in USA for at most 90 days each time. When the ESTA has expired, you can apply for a new ESTA.
The 90 days stay also includes time spent in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbeans, if you first arrived in USA. That also means that you will not get 90 new days when you return back to USA again from these countries.
What is the price for ESTA?
The price of ESTA can be found on the first page of the application form on this website. Just click your flag and proceed to the application form. You can see the price of the ESTA before you start the application. Payment for the ESTA will be done after you have completed the application form. You can apply for many people at the same time.
How to pay for ESTA?
Payment can be done through major credit cards and PayPal. If you are located in certain countries you might also find local alternative payment methods as well, such as iDEAL.
Please note that your application will not be processed until payment is received in full.
What if my application is not approved?
If your application is rejected, you can still contact the American embassy in your country, to hand in an application on paper. If you have been denied an ESTA once, there is no need to try again, you will be denied again.
I already have a visa, do I still need ESTA?
If you have been granted a visa to USA, you do not need to apply for an ESTA as well. The visa will be enough to travel to USA.
Will a valid ESTA guarantee entry to USA?
No, a valid ESTA means that you can board the airplane from your country to USA. The final decision will be made by an officer from Customs and Border Protection in USA on your arrival. If they decide you are ineligible to enter for any reason, you will have to return back with no possibility to enter USA.
Common reasons to not admit entry is if the traveler has given fake information when applying for ESTA, or has other purposes than temporary business or holiday travel.
I made a mistake, can I change my ESTA?
You cannot change your ESTA. You need to apply for a new one, and you need to pay a new fee. Reasons to apply for a new ESTA are:
- The traveler has changed passport
- The traveler changed a name
- The traveler changed the gender
- The traveler changed nationality
- An answer to any of the yes/no-questions in the application form has changed
How long is the processing time?
In most cases, the ESTA application will be processed immediately and you will receive a decision within minutes. In some cases, it can be up to 72 hours before a decision is made.
We advise you to apply as early as possible, or at least a week in advance to reduce the risk of getting the decision too late. The ESTA is valid for two years so it can be a good idea to apply for the ESTA as one of the first steps in planning your trip.
Do I need to print the letter of approval?
The ESTA is electronic and you do not need to print the letter of approval. However, most travelers like to keep a copy of the approval letter with them during the trip, since it contains information about the permit and the application number.
Can I apply for a visa while in USA on an ESTA?
You absolutely cannot apply for a visa or residence permit to USA, while in USA, if you went there with an ESTA permit. ESTA is only for temporary business or holiday, and you cannot work in USA or settle down without a valid visa. You need to apply for the visa before you go to USA, at the American embassy in the country where you live.
Is this website safe?
Yes, we use an encrypted connection for the application form and payment.